The Top 50 Albums of the Year… #43 THE GOLDEN FILTER “Völuspà“
43. GOLDEN FILTER “Völuspà“
The Golden Filter’s remarkable debut did a fine job in 2010 at showcasing the New York duo as being more than just another over-hyped, blog-approved act. Following on from 2009′s heavily-rotated singles “Solid Gold” and “Thunderbird”, The Golden Filter released their first full-length album full of beats and ethereal club soundscapes that
Subtlety seems to be the key on “Voluspa”, a progressive-meets-disco pop record that really takes the dance floor out of the disco and more-so into the living room on a Sunday afternoon as you wake from a hungover slumber. The beats on here are refreshingly subdued (the great “Frejya’s Ghost”, “Stardust” and the Goldfrapp-esque “Moonlight Fantasy” are fine examples of such), but it’s still powerful dance music; and that’s a really nice hybrid others have attempted, but it’s The Golden Filter who have nailed it on the head better than most in 2010. There’s a real sense of dance-smarts here, but with enough layers of sincere emotion and, particularly in the case of refined album opener “Dance Around The Fire”, shades of enough dark and drama to balance out all the light that radiates from the albums overall sound while still giving it a pop sheen. The infectious and trance-like beauty of almost-banger “Hide Me” further solidifies their perfect blends of dark and light, something The Golden Filter have managed to grasp a hold of early on in their career. It really IS like they’ve put all of their dance music through a golden filter that’s – literally – given the tracks rounded-off, smoother edges than what you’re used to hearing in the clubs.
There’s some room for improvement, or at least, evolution, however. The album, produced solely by the duo, could have been a five-star-perfect album had they, perhaps, worked alongside someone in the studio, rather than just doing all the work on their own. There are minor dips-and-dives that could have been ironed-out with the guidance of someone else in the studio. Perhaps with record number two they’ll be able to work with someone that can steer their evolution as an act to watch in the right direction.
I should also not forget to point out the obvious homage to the Red Dress version of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” on the cover art. Remarkable stuff.